The state of Mississippi has voted to ban transgender athletes from competing in female sports in both schools and universities - but, of course, opinions are seriously divided.
Here's the full story...
Now, this issue has been debated for quite some time now.
Ever since the Olympics allowed trans athletes to compete in 2016, there has been a solid divide in opinion over the matter.
While many are supportive of the inclusion of transgender athletes...
Others argue that it is unfair towards other athletes competing in the sport.
The subject of transgender female athletes is certainly the most debated...
Hi Daniel, you can abuse me all you like but facts matter.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 17, 2020
a) I support fairness & equality for all trans people.
b) Allowing trans women athletes to compete against women born to female biological bodies is inarguably unfair, unequal & dangerous. https://t.co/shAPFFFXIA
With people like Piers Morgan arguing that female trans athletes have an "unfair advantage" due to the fact they were born with a male anatomy, consisting of testosterone and other male hormones that increase strength and stamina.
It has been argued that their competitors don't "stand a chance"...
I know this won't be popular but athletes born female cannot possibly compete on a level playing field with someone born male.— Emma Louisa J 💕🥂🍾 (@Emmalouisajones) February 26, 2020
It's ludicrous and totally unfair to allow this to happen imo.
And there's a high number of people out there who feel transgender athletes shouldn't be allowed to compete because of this thought.
For instance, professional MMA fighter Ronda Rousey refused to fight trans fighter Fallon Fox in 2014.
"I feel like if you go through puberty as a man it's something that you can't really reverse. You can't just reverse that, there's no undo button on that. That's, unfortunately, her scenario," she said of her decision.
And New Zealand transgender weightlifter, Laurel Hubbard, faced a lot of criticism after she won a gold medal at the Pacific Games.
New Zealand-based lobby group, "Speak Up For Women," which advocates that sport must be categorized by sex rather than gender identity, called on the country's Olympic committee and sports minister to "defend women's sport."
"Kiwis (New Zealanders) know that males competing in women's sport is blatantly unfair," the group's spokesperson Ani O'Brien harshly said.
Nevertheless, transgender athletes are allowed to compete here in the United States...
And transgender girls are permitted to participate in sports that match their gender identity at schools and colleges across the country.
However, that is all set to change in one particular State.
As announced earlier, the State of Mississippi has voted unanimously to ban young transgender athletes from competing in female sports in all schools and universities.
Of course, many have slammed the decision as an "attack on trans lives"...
Looks like Mississippi’s anti-trans sports bill passed the Senate yesterday- SB 2536. I wish I was exaggerating when I said this year is filled with the most relentless legislative attacks on trans lives that I have ever seen.— Chase Strangio (@chasestrangio) February 12, 2021
Sickening. I feel sick.— END #JimCrowFilibuster NOW + #SaveLives😷 (@LisaLovesHumans) February 12, 2021
One step forward, two steps back...— Robert Frechette (@Bobadibob) February 12, 2021
It's all a distraction. Just like trans bathroom bills...there's no way to enforce any of this. Just paper bigotry.— AmusedandConfused (@GamerGuyW) February 12, 2021
However, others have argued that the new bill simply enforces fairness in sport.
Sport is segregated by SEX for reasons of fairness and safety.— Johnny The Monkey. (@JohnMcH_) February 13, 2021
Pro-female legislation to ensure female spaces stay female is not an attack on anyone. It is a clarification of what has always been. Females get exclusivity in their prisons, sports, rape crisis centers, spas, grants for women, change rooms, washrooms, political representation.— Marc Emery (@MarcScottEmery) February 12, 2021
Go Mississippi! Where women's rights are upheld. Whoop whoop. #WarOnWomen— SimmyMc (@mc_simmy) February 13, 2021
The vote took place on Thursday, February 11th, and won by thirty-six votes to 9.
5 people chose not to take part in the vote, while 4 voted "present," meaning they were not voting for or against the new legislation.
There was reportedly "very little discussion" before the vote took place in the Republican-led state...
And, according to AP, no one asked if any transgender athletes were currently competing in Mississippi, with the bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Angela Hill, not offering such information.
Sen. Hill said this on the decision:
"I've had numerous coaches across the state call me and believe that they feel there's a need for a policy in Mississippi because they are beginning to have some concerns of having to deal with this."
Following the vote, the legislation will now go to the Republican-controlled House for more work in the coming weeks.
Make sure to stay posted for further updates.